"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Out of Control Peeing

– Posted in: Columns

Labrador Retriever in the RainHi John,

I have a 13 wk. old yellow lab who can’t stop peeing. We got her when she was 8 wks. old but found out 2 weeks later she had a severe bladder infection. She couldn’t hold her bladder then and now that her infection is gone, she just won’t hold it. We have been crate training her since day one but she constantly pees in her crate.  How do I teach her to hold it until she goes outside? And how on earth am I supposed to get her to stop peeing in her crate? I am so upset by this behavior and extremely frustrated.  My husband wants rid of her but my 2 kids are totally in love with her. I find myself in tears almost daily over this. Please I am willing to put in whatever time is necessary to correct this problem.  I want so much to have a great family pet. H.M. Ajax


Hi H.M.

There are a few details missing here and it would be better if we could talk. There’s a slight chance that her incontinence is still medically related, and a slightly higher chance it’s anxiety related. More then likely though it’s now just a typical tough to house train case.

Finding pee on the floor, no matter how diligent the house training program, can be pretty frustrating for a dog owner and confusing for the puppy that one minute is adored as puppies should be and the next be treated like some with serial gas in a church service (it only happened the one time.)

Physical signs are varied, occasionally blood in the urine, spontaneous peeing, as in the pup running about and very suddenly squatting to pee usually in very small amounts if at all and moving on. A 10 day course of anti-biotics clears the infection up with the outward symptoms stopping around day 3 or 4 when house training can resume.

Check to see how much room she has in the crate. It should be no bigger then to allow her to stand up, turn around and lay down. She’s much more likely to exert self control. People keep buying these crates the size of condos forgetting that dogs need more of a den like environment rather then a MuttMansion.

If the crate area is already small then get her back to the veterinarian. I don’t believe the infection is gone. It might be but the peeing in the crate tells me to check again. She may just be doing so be cause she’s used to it but check anyway.

Other then that it boils down to straight supervision. She’s on the leash and supervised all the time. You have a timer set to whatever interval is well within the boundaries of her incontinence. Trot her out whether she needs to go or not plus whenever she wakes up from a nap, has been playing with the kids or chewing a toy or sniffs and/or circles and an area. If she’s peeing in the night set your alarm for whatever interval you think is needed and extend it a little at a time. During the day, when you get three pee free days increase the interval 15 minutes.

Physically most dogs can hold it through the night by 10 weeks of age and accidents have finished by 16 weeks. Your time line is likely twice that. Don’t react if she pees in the house. Just clean up with a product designed to chemically neutralize urine.

Hang in there. This is doable. If things are getting on track soon, send me an email for a house training cheat sheet or give me a call. My contact information is on my web site

John Wade the Dog Trainer

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